Maria Is The New Black
For centuries we have adorned ourselves with glistening trinkets and eye catching jewels, dressing our bodies as if we were walking magpies nests, clinking and jangling as we stroll down the street.
Many of us will fall into one of the following three categories… Category one; The over-accessorized. Filling every space on our bodies with as many gold bands and silver chains as humanly possible possible, sending metal detectors in airports and shop entrances into disarray, placing them on the midst of our fingers to the tips of our ears. Category two; The chosen few. There are some of us who choose to stick to what we know, whether it’s a ring we got for our 18th birthday or a bracelet given to us by a family member – the chains and rings we stick to are as comfortable as slipping on an old jumper. Then there are the hassle free; those whom consider the concept of wearing jewellery slightly redundant, as when you think about it – jewellery as a whole tends to serve no purpose.
If you belong to either the second or third camp, is there anything that could possibly change your mind about venturing out of your comfort zone, and into the unknown realm there is out there of glittering knickknacks. A ring won’t keep you warm at night. It won’t keep you dry from the rain or make your walk to work in the morning that smidgen more comfortable. A ring you purchase for yourself won’t conjure everlasting memories when you gaze at it, whether they are of a loved one or a life mile stone. So why spend your hand earned salary on things that seem so…. unnecessary?
Well, speak to jewellery designer Maria Black for more than 5 minutes, and you’ll be convinced the other way. A jeweler by trade, Maria studied for 3 years in Copenhagen and spent her fourth year here in London, and she has never looked backed. As Maria says herself, she “accidentally ended up in fashion”. Accident or not, her unintentional turn of fortune has left her decorating the aisles of establishments such as Selfridges and Harrods with her innovative collections.
Maria Black jewellery isn’t about glitz and glamour. She uses precious metals, bringing them to life by forming beautiful and inspiring shapes with her pieces, making her collections both provocative and endearing. What makes the brand even more engaging is discovering the journey behind it. Expanding from being showcased on the rickety tops of market stalls, to the body of Maggie Gyllenhaal, it’s ventured on quite the course. Not achieved through connections or a background of wealth, Maria got herself to where she is through sheer determination with help from the adoring passion of the trade that drove her. Maria expresses how she would design her pieces through the week, and then sell on market stalls at the weekend. However, despite this incessant pace of hard work was still “proper broke” (a reality young creatives out there are probably all too familiar with).
However, eventually Lady Luck came tapping on the door and Maria won a grant to stretch her venture from the table tops of Brick Lane to the show cases of Copenhagen Fashion Week – and it just “kind of worked out from there”.
It’s a tough choice to make on what is more endearing – Maria’s work or Maria herself? It’s a combination of her modesty, positive charm and soft Danish accent that makes her impossible not to like (not to mention her talent for creating capturing pieces of jewellery) and along with this she leaves you wanting to buy every piece of her collection. it’s not just Maria’s likable persona that makes you want to buy it – it’s the originality and composition of her creations that enchant you. Leaving the spangle aside – Maria chooses to not work with stones as ‘they hold connotations’, so the pieces are free for you to make of them what you will, with the ability to mix and match with the rest of your jewellery wardrobe. “I don’t follow trends” explains Maria, “which is risky for a designer, but I go with my gut feeling” and this bravery is radiated from her pieces. However, when we asked if she HAD to put it into a category, which would she, she ponders somewhat before settling on “I would say 70’s (David Bowie is a huge inspiration of hers), Intergalactic and Normcore – if I HAD to describe it”. Quite the combination.
Despite the question mark over the trend in which her work may follow, what it is is long lasting, original and ever-changing. Leading you to want to peruse amongst the pick and mix of jewellery delights she holds and incorporate them into your own wardrobe, which is all she aims to do with her designs. “I want people to want to build a jewellery wardrobe. We need shoes, we need trousers. We don’t need jewellery – that’s what makes it so special. However we still need to go to work, we need to pick up the children, we need to get the bus, and that’s what my jewellery is for, it can fit in with the hustle and bustle of everyday life”. Even if it doesn’t warm you up on a cold winters night, Maria Black jewellery will fit into your life as perfectly as it will slip upon your finger, and who can say no to that?